Case Study:
The Spectales Wetlands
Since the early 1970s, Alcoa has played a significant part in the preservation and management of The Spectacles Wetlands.
This 360 hectares natural bush and wetland, is the most southern of the chain of freshwater lakes known as the Beeliar Regional Park, found north of Kwinana in Western Australia.
The Spectacles is named because it comprises two wetlands joined by a waterway giving it the appearance of a pair of spectacles. The area’s unique vegetation includes paper bark, flooded gum, bracken fern and tea-tree, as well as banksia, sheoak and grass trees.
In September and October the wooded areas abound with native wildflowers including kangaroo paw, donkey and spider orchids, native wisteria and the Kwinana emblem, the pixie mop.
The wetland is co-managed by Alcoa and the Department of Environment and Conservation.
Importantly, The Spectacles Wetlands is a significant site for Aboriginal people. The wetland is a part of the indigenous territory known as the Beeliar Nation and is identified as the area of tribal elder Midgegooroo.
The Spectacles is part of the major and ancient trade route that follows the freshwater lakes linking the Aboriginal peoples of the Murray and Swan rivers. The area has cultural significance as a ceremonial, camping and food gathering site.
In recognition of the site’s significance, the Alcoa Foundation entered a collaborative venture with the Town of Kwinana, Medina Aboriginal Cultural Community (MACC) and the Department of Environment & Conservation (DEC) to host The Spectacles Cultural Tours and develop the area into a tourist destination and educational facility.
The subsidised tour program is an excellent example of how industry can successfully partner with local government and the local indigenous community to promote and foster Indigenous culture, community harmony and enterprise.
The success of the tour highlights the growing interest from the public to experience and understand more about Aboriginal history and people.
It is also a model example of ways to promote and educate community members on traditional cultures and indigenous people. The program also provides an infrastructure for local Indigenous people to share knowledge, language and history while preserving and promoting a vibrant traditional and contemporary Indigenous culture.

In 2007, Alcoa Inc’s global chief operating officer, Klaus Kleinfeld, took part in a guided tour of The Spectacles and in June, more than 60 volunteers took part in a community planting day to revegetate areas previously cleared for access tracks.

Over 300 plants native to The Spectacles and Aboriginal culture - including eucalyptus, melaleuca and acacia were planted to provide habitat for native animals and birds.

Volunteers involved in the planting day included Alcoa employees, Medina Primary School, Challenger TAFE Kwinana, Medina Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Town of Kwinana, and members of the Spectacles Cultural Tours group.

Click image to enlarge.

Alcoa Inc’s global chief operating officer Klaus Kleinfeld and local Noognar community leader Leonard Thorne at The Spectacles.

The Spectacles Yargan Tours

Visit the website to learn about this aboriginal cultural experience.